How can tardigrades live without water

Skull shape stands in the way of quadruple evolution

About the episode

Tetrapods – or tetrapods – evolved from fish and were the first land animals with limbs and toes. New knowledge about the evolution of their skull now reveals something fascinating.

Researchers studied the skull bones of 100 living and extinct organisms. They looked at both the number of bone segments (there are fewer in tetrapods than in fish) and how these parts were attached to each other or connected to each other.

They were able to see that the fewer bone fragments in this case meant that the construction of the tetrapod skulls was more complex. Because with a little, almost the same end result should be achieved.

What they also saw was that while fish could have skulls made up of several parts, early tetrapods moved quickly toward each one. According to the researchers, these more complex constructions slowed down development. A kind of pause before the animals began to disperse for a long time.

These skull challenges weren’t the only reason, it was a very cool one.

Read more: Scientists found that the first land animals had fewer skull bones than fish – which limited their evolution.

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